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While doing research on various designs for charcoal retorts both on IFI and elsewhere, I ran across this interesting variation that I wanted to get folks' thoughts on. It's an indirect-method retort, but rather than a double-barrel design with the fire around the outside, it appears to be essentially a 55 gal drum with a rocket stove in the middle, fueled by the wood gasses being piped back in through the fresh air intake. Has anyone here ever seen/tried/used/built anything like this, and would they recommend it? On the face of it, it looks like it wouldn't be terribly complicated to build and wouldn't require quite as much firewood to get up to heat, especially if the outside is well-insulated. Thoughts?

 

Addendum: another video from the same guy shows a similar retort that he build with bricks and clay, not even using a drum.

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so i havnt seen a retort like this before (admittedly i havnt really looked into them) but i dont see why it wouldnt work,just a rocket stove minus the insulation from the looks of it, i find the clay one especially interesting seeing as my "shop" is in an area with TONS of clay. ironically right across the boarder from you in West Springfield.

if anyone with more experience making charcoal could chime in on how effective they think it would be, that be awesome. I wouldnt mind trying to make one if the design proves solid.

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Yeah, I can't see any of the photos on that thread. Grrr.

BUT, I did find this photo and this one online, that appear to show the internal tubing of the Hookway retort in a bit more detail (found on this site).

Edited by JHCC

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I have thought about making a retort like the one in the first post but haven't gotten around to actually doin it. I've looked at several kinds and that one seems by far the easiest one to make. I don't know how long the charcoal would last when I got in the shop so I'd probably have to make a couple runs just to make sure I had enough.

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Good thing about that one is if you remove the insulation after the cook, the sooner it cools down and you can open her up and start using the char.

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YouTuber MultiNaatje has posted a video of their build and first burn with this type of retort. Shows some good internal details, although I question the wisdom of using wood for the outer enclosure. 

 

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The wood was definitely not a brilliant idea. It wouldn’t have been that hard to build a round sheet metal skin around it with enough room to insulate. 

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